At Colgate University (near Hamilton College) assistant professor of “peace studies” Victoria Fontan is negotiating to be “embedded” with the car-bombing, head-chopping mujahideen in Iraq: Colgate professor in Iraq to research resistance groups. (Hat tip: ctstephen.)
Like many colleagues at Colgate, Victoria Fontan is spending her time between semesters hard at work. For the visiting assistant professor of peace studies, that means trekking halfway around the world and potentially putting herself in harm’s way.
Fontan set out for Iraq at the end of December to study and to interview members of the country’s insurgent organizations. On the way to Baghdad, she conducted research in Beirut and Jordan before negotiating to be “embedded” in one of Iraq’s resistance groups.
Fontan’s academic focus is on political violence in post-conflict situations, and she has conducted field research on the Lebanese Hezbollah, the Basque nationalist group ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna), and various warring factions in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.
During the past 15 months, she has taken several trips to Baghdad and is preparing a book on the polarization between the occupying forces and the people of Iraq. She also is gathering information for her Introduction to Peace Studies course.